Major H-1 construction project to begin this summer

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Apr 20 2013 06:00:39 PM HST
Updated On: Apr 20 2013 06:57:23 PM HST

It's one of the busiest portions of the H-1 highway. But road conditions from Middle St. to near Ward Ave. are one of the worst. That's why the State Department of Transportation wants to overhaul it.

HONOLULU -

Drivers in town may soon be dealing with a traffic nightmare on the H-1.

A major freeway rehabilitation project is scheduled to begin in the summer.

The H-1 from Middle Street to near Ward Avenue is one of the busiest portions of the freeway. But road conditions in the area are some of the worst. That's why the State Department of Transportation wants to overhaul it.

"This is a very serious rehabilitation, where we have to go down and correct it maybe 6 to 12 inches deep, said state Department of Transportation spokesperson Caroline Sluyter. "Because of the extensive amount of work that we have to do, it will be a long-term project."

The project is still in its design phase, so the state has no exact start date. But once work does begin, it expects construction and lane closures to last for 12 to 18 months.

"It's anticipated to be mostly night work," Sluyter said. "There may be some work in the day, but primarily at night."

Work that will likely cause delays for many. But the state says it'll be worth the wait.

When the project is complete, there will be a fourth lane in both directions from Kalihi to Downtown.

It's an extension of last summer's pilot project that added an extra lane through Makiki.

Like that area, lanes will be reduced to 10 feet and the speed limit lowered to 45 mph.

Sluyter said, "We've been getting mostly good feedback from that. In that corridor, it's very congested. There's really no space to build out the freeway and funding for that would be very expensive. So it's something that we can do relatively inexpensively to try to help alleviate the traffic flow."

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